Watching Baghdad Gated Communities Develop

About: Google News Cluster

Construction on "The Great Wall of Adhamiyah" was started on April 10 by the U.S. 407th Brigade.  It is to be a  three-mile long wall to protect a Sunni enclave. The wall consists of concrete barriers as tall as 12 feet weighing 14,000 pounds which are being lifted into place by cranes.  When the wall is finished the community will be gated, and traffic control points manned by Iraqi soldiers will be the only entries.  The wall is expected to be completed in one month.  Thanks to the Healing Iraq bolg for the "confirmed  rout of the wall" shown here.

This "gated communites" part of the surge plan was first called to our attention by Rogert Fisk on April 11.   I overlaid the AEI map of sectarian areas and a detailed map of Baghdad in the Google Earth map here.


Update 4/22/2007  Reuters reports: "Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Sunday he had asked for an end to construction work on a wall which would separate a mainly Sunni Muslim part of Baghdad from nearby Shi'ite areas." But according to Al Jazeera: "US officials in Baghdad said on Sunday that four more neighbourhoods will become so-called "gated communities".  According to reports, the districts of Amiriya, Khadra, and East and West Rashid will be included in the controversial scheme."

Update 4/23/2007 about 2,000 residents of Baghdad's Adhamiyah district
demonstrate in the streets against the building of the wallAs The American ambassador said the U.S. would "respect the wishes" of the Iraqi government after the prime minister ordered a halt to construction.  But US officials stopped short of actually saying that work would stop.  Iraq's chief military spokesman, Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, seemed to contradict Maliki's position in a press conference Monday morning by saying, "We will continue to construct the security barriers in the Adamiyah neighborhood. This is a technical issue, setting up barriers is one thing and building barriers is another. These are moveable barriers that can be removed. We expected this reaction by some weak-minded people".

Tags

  1. iraq
  2. gated community
  3. item 6776
  4. baghdad
  5. adhamiya
  6. events
  7. azamiyah
  8. surge
  9. walls

Comments


Seth says
I've seen this diagram flashed on fox news and now on cbc.ca but nobody shows it to us in detail
 


Seth says
seth 2007-04-23 14:13:00 6920
One thing i'm learning is that the URL posted above in the about box is very stable. Even though the story comes and goes from the World News front page, that url has been maintained. The trick seems to be that ncl parameter, 1115269308, which always stays the same.
Of course to get a URL for any cluster just click on the all 1,023 news articles 

Seth says
M 2007-04-21 10:57:10 6920
Some of the politics & complaints: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,267645,00.html 
I wonder who is complaining - the terrorists ?
Today there was quite a bit of anit-wall backlash spin ... here is the most pointed that i have found

Re attitude of this node:  i am going to use the body of the item itself to track as accurately as i can the geography and factual events related directly to these walled Baghdad communities.  We can use the comments to track the press and blogisphere spin about those actual events.  Also, perhaps, some even headed well considered commentary.   However posting propoganda with unrelated images and/or rhetoric will be strongly discouraged. 

my commentary:  These walled communities are an integral part of the surge stratagy.  It is painful (perhaps draconian), but it is necessary if the surge is to be effective.  I will bet that most residents will prefer it, assuming that it is implemented with discresion, to the alternative violence.  I have extreme doubts that the surge will, in the long run, be successful; however it does not make sense to me to start this effort to force Baghdad to be peaceful and then not take the measures necessary for success.

Mark de LA says
Well, the military may or not be patrolling the river.  Given that little water craft can deliver explosives anywhere along the river it is like leaving a major highway open.  OTOH, it may be just easy enough to have a Katushya rocket on a small craft and lob it into the cities like they do in Israel. 

Mark de LA says
Nope I couldn't see that as the Eastern side of the tigres... looked Northern. I guess if Azamiya had been on your first major map I would have figured it out. My bad.

Seth says
Today i discovered a blog with information about the confirmed positions and possible routs ...




Mark de LA says
Presumably Azamiya & Adhamiya are the same?  I don't know what good it is to build a wall if the river is wide open.

Seth says
M 2007-04-22 10:23:14 6920
Presumably Azamiya & Adhamiya are the same?  I don't know what good it is to build a wall if the river is wide open.
Yep there is quite a bit of spelling discrepency ... it may be that Al A'Zamiyah names a smaller districk and Adhamiya names a larger area ... i don't know.  Your an old Navey guy, perhaps you can speculate on how practical it is to partrol the waters of the Tigress. 

It's beginning to look to me that the AEI map is out of date and that the sectarian boundaries have changed since Zeyad has them building the fense in the middle of AEI Shia dominated area.  This is also confirmed by a (more recent?) sectarian map found here:








Seth says
M 2007-04-21 11:43:46 6920
The story also pointed out a potential route which I couldn't quite reconcile with your pictures.
Well i reread the reference you provided again very carefully and i can't find any "potential rout" there at all ... can you be more specific? 

For me, the ambiguity in the rout centers on the question: what area does the name "Azamiyah" refer to.  In the detailed street map from Wikipedia (shown to the left) it looks like it refers only to the area bounded by those 3 streets (and in some reports that is the area shaded Sunni), but in the sectarian map from the AEI report (above) the entire peninsula is designated Sunni.  Three facts went into my choices:  if you encircle only that area marked as Al Azamiya in the street map (1) you end up with far less than 3 miles,  (2) the area would not include a critical Sunni mosk, and (3) it would partition a Sunni neighborhood and not divide Sunni for Shea.  

Do you have any information or reasoning that i have not considered here?


Seth says
An Iraqi girl stands near a blast wall on April 22, 2007 in the Karrada neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq. Thanks IraqSlogger which is shaping up to be a very good source of news about Iraq.  Here, perhaps for the first time, we get to see the structure of this wall ... note the loops to lift it into place with cranes and the base to stabalize it.  The military is drawing an interesting distinction ...
source: Brig. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi
"We will continue to construct the security barriers in the Azamiyah neighborhood. This is a technical issue, Setting up barriers is one thing and building barriers is another. These are moveable barriers that can be removed."

Mark de LA says
M 2007-04-23 00:02:20 6920
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/world/4738378.html now the Prime Minister doesn't like the wall.  It will be interesting to see what happens.
Since this is about the wall I pose these questions:
  • Does al-Maliki know how to stop the violence?
  • He didn't seem to want to get rid of the Mahdi militia, is this the second biggest clue to his cluelessness?
  • Has al-Maliki succumbed to the Western political disease of wanting to remain in power beyond his usefulness ?
  • The wall may be unpopular, but leadership in part is being able to get unpleasant things done for the better good of the country.
  • Will he be embarrassed if the violence continues on the Shiite neighborhoods if the Sunni are isolated ? Will rockets become the weapon of choice ?
  • Will the West consider this the final nail in the coffin of support for the current Iraqi government?

Seth says
This article gives, imho, the best status of the confusion today ...
source: IraqSlogger
Iraq's chief military spokesman, Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, seemed to contradict Maliki's position in a press conference Monday morning.

"We will continue to construct the security barriers in the Adamiyah neighborhood. This is a technical issue,'' Brig. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi said. "Setting up barriers is one thing and building barriers is another. These are moveable barriers that can be removed.''

Moussawi blamed the media for exaggerating the controversy, saying, "We expected this reaction by some weak-minded people,'' he said.


Seth says
M 2007-04-23 10:40:58 6920
Since this is about the wall I pose these questions:
  • He didn't seem to want to get rid of the Mahdi militia, is this the second biggest clue to his cluelessness?
  • The wall may be unpopular, but leadership in part is being able to get unpleasant things done for the better good of the country.
  • Will he be embarrassed if the violence continues on the Shiite neighborhoods if the Sunni are isolated ? Will rockets become the weapon of choice ?
  • Will the West consider this the final nail in the coffin of support for the current Iraqi government?
  • I wouldn't call Maliki cluless for not getting rid of the Mahdi militia ... they were kind of the horse he rode in on ... and they are better at protecting the Shea population than us soldiers.
  • I agree with the wall being uppopular but may be for the good of the country and so does Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi of the Iraqi military ... like you say it will be interesting to see what actually transpires.
  • I think Katushya rocket are already being lobbed over the wall ... sorry cant't find where i read that lately.
  • "Will the West consider this the final nail in the coffin of support for the current Iraqi government?" ... glad you said it and i didn't ... though i was thinking it.   It depends on whether Maliki decides to defy Bush and visa versa here.  If they go head to head on these walls, then me thinks the idea that we are supporting Maliki will evaporate and that will hasten the end of this shakey government.  Which leads me to believe that is not the way things will go ... rather either general Petraes will convince Maliki to continue with the gated communities or the US military will back off of the plan.  There will be no public confontation on this ... too much to loose on both sides of the pond. 

Seth says
M 2007-04-24 06:08:26 6920
Here is a fairly detailed map of Baghdad neighborhoods in Wikipedia . I had to download it and then expand it for the detail.
Yep, that's the one to beat.  It's been referenced in the body of this item from the start. Already made an overlay of it on google earth, i've just been lazy about publishing it.

Seth says
The focus of this news cluster is deteriorating ...

CBC News
Suicide bombers kill 9 US soldiers in Iraq
CNN - 2 hours ago
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Two suicide car bombers struck a small US patrol base Monday in Diyala province, killing nine American soldiers and wounding 20 others, a US military official said.
Walled City Washington Post
Iraqis liken security barrier to Israeli wall Gulf News
Houston Chronicle - Los Angeles Times - Malibu Arts Reviews - New York Times
all 1,279 news articles 
Seth says

According to
Iraqi Solidarity News Maliki withdraws his statement ...
source: via Google translator of www.aliraqnews.com
Our sources learned that Nuri al-Maliki retreat from his earlier statements and is moving ahead with the construction of the wall that separates the area from the rest hung areas of Baghdad, sources reported that telephone call today Maliki and library in Baghdad
... as predicted above.

Seth says
From a Iraqi blogger we get the following analysis ...
source: Iraq the model
Yesterday leaflets were distributed in the streets of Adhamiya (or Azamiya, English doesn

Seth says
Collecting pictures here ...
An Iraqi boy moves through a gap between concrete blocks in what appears to be a part of the security barrier around the Sunni Arab quarter of Azamiyah, in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, April 24, 2007. (AP Photo/Asaad Muhsin)

Lots of pictures of children finding cracks in the wall.




Seth says
Well at least the kids have cell phones ...
Iraqi children walk past a three-mile-long concrete wall around Baghdad's Sunni enclave of Adhamiyah, 24 April 2007. (Photo credit should read ALI YUSSEF/AFP/Getty Images)

Thanks Getty Images


Mark de LA says
It is amusing that the people marching are carrying a banner written quite well in English! I wonder who did it for them.

Seth says
Sadr City Protests Adhamiyah Wall ... which reminds us not to oversimplify the situation in Baghdad. One would suppose that the Shea of Sadr city would hail the building of a wall between them and the Sunni of Adhamiyah ... or perhaps is it that Sadr City inhabitants know that they inevitable are on the list to be walled off. Or  are all of these protests really against the draconian bite of the US occupation?  Now sure if it is them vs us ... then they are the enemy ... and these protests then can only be interperted as hostile actions of the enemy in their battle against us.  Or is that the way to look at this?

Seth says
Interesting analyisis ...
source: Sadr Calls for Demonstration By BASSEM MROUE
Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr strongly condemned construction of a wall around a Sunni neighborhood in Baghdad, calling for demonstrations against the plan as a sign of "the evil will" of American "occupiers."
... read the whole article.  The knee jerk reaction, of course, is why then doesn't Muqtada get together with the Sunni leaders and frigging end the sectarian violence.  We cannot cherry pick our facts here to understand the situation. 

Seth says
Petraeus says "there's been a little bit more of a meeting of minds" with Maliki as Baghdad becoming oases of art.




Seth says
source: Trapped Between the Wall and the Militants Adhimiya Residents Speak; $10 Mil for Cement Barriers in Iraq
The concrete walls going up in certain Baghdad neighborhoods and other parts of the country will cost ten million dollars, in addition to the costs of transportation and installation, al-Hayat writes on Monday, citing Iraqi officials.

Regardless of what happens in Adhamiya, the predominantly Sunni area of Eastern Bahgdad were the construction of a concrete wall has sparked much controversy, separation walls are planned to be installed in at least ten districts of Baghdad and in 40 other areas around the country, Iraqi officials said.
...
A young man, identified as Sulayman, said "the area is seemingly dead, there is no life in it, and no movement." He explained that "the majority of families moved their children from the neighborhood to other areas inside and outside of Baghdad or emigrated abroad fearing that they would be killed at the hands of the armed

Seth says
source: IraqSlogger

A rumor circulating in Baghdad has it that Muqtada al-Sadr has ordered the Mahdi Army to attack trucks transporting concrete blocks, in order to frustrate the plan to build a concrete wall separating the area of Adhamiya from the rest of the capital, Slogger sources report.

This rumored Sadr order has not been confirmed. Further details were not available.

The picture is of a Iraqis rally Monday in Baghdad's Kadhimiya district which is across the Tigris from Adhamiyah

Seth says
source: .IraqSlogger
Slogger sources in the predominately Sunni district of Adhamiya, north of Baghdad, report on the progress of the security barried being contructed by U.S. forces around their district. While construction on the wall has mostly been halted, Adhamiya residents said their district has been successfully sealed off from neighboring areas for weeks. Residents who want to enter or leave Adhamiya have to take the Omar bin Abdul Aziz Street and exit through Antar Square. All other major and side streets have been blocked by smaller concrete barriers and barbed wire, they said.

In a related development, Al-Melaf Press reported that 88 members (out of 138 members present) of Iraqi Parliament voted to call on U.S. forces to halt the construction of security barriers around Adhamiya and other districts of the capital on Saturday.

Updating the map.

Watch Anime Online says
USA did not developing the iraq streets.

C says
Note the above comment is a spam advertizement!

Seth says
Life Insurance 2010-09-04 03:33:16 6920
He explained that "the majority of families moved their children from the neighborhood to other areas inside and outside of Baghdad or emigrated abroad fearing that they would be killed at the hands of the armed
Actually spam advertisement is ok here as long as you actually say something that is not totally trivial ... then it is the prerogative of the blog owner to allow it to remain or to delete it or to re-frame it as i have done here.

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